The transaction, dubbed a 50/50 partnership between the global beverage giant and Combs Wine & Spirits, follows a successful 2007 collaboration for the Ciroc vodka brand.
DeLeon, which retails for up to $200 a bottle, is not a widely known brand but has a celebrity and nightclub following. It has limited distribution (18 states) and sales (10K cases/year).
FTI managing director Rachel Rosenblatt reps Diageo, while DKC senior VP Keesha Johnson handles Combs at the firm, which has a long relationship with the music mogul.
In a joint announcement Jan. 8, the companies said the venture will benefit from Diageo's distribution network, supply chain and marketing capabilities, while Combs brings influencers and a track record of marketing luxury brands to the table.
The Wall Street Journal noted that Diageo's bid to buy top tequila brand Jose Cuervo fell apart in late 2012, ending a 16-year distribution deal that brought Diageo more than $470M in annual sales.